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Business Planning & Consolidation Webinar

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Business Planning Consolidation WebinarIn this Business Planning & Consolidation Webinar,you'll learn how to:

  • Generate reports and input templates
  • Design reports that can drill back to your source data
  • Create dashboards that are connected to SAP Business Planning and Consolidation
  • Understand the consolidation capabilities of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, including control set-up and monitoring
  • Leverage the latest functionalities never before seen in earlier versions of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation
  • Review new and upcoming innovations, including Business Planning and Consolidation on HANA

This video is from the Proformative webinar "Gain Agility and Control with SAP Business Planning & Consolidation webinar held on January 30, 2013.  The webinar features a presentation and demonstration by David Roberts, Director Analytics, SAP North America.

Discover the value of this widely adopted application from SAP's enterprise performance management solution suite.


Business Planning & Consolidation Webinar

Thanks so much, John. I thank you all for joining our session here today. What I want to do is just jump right in. Today what I'll be sharing with you are really the three C's relative to financial planning and analysis.

Some of the topics that I hear most often when speaking with customers of SAP and those within the financial planning and analysis community really revolve around, "How do we communicate to a larger or broader set of consumers within our organization as well as outside?"

As a part of this discussion and demonstration, what I'll share with you is how leveraging technology like SAP's planning and consolidation solution or BPC. As well as some of the visualization solutions from SAP like dashboards integrated seamlessly together help to drive just that. It could be ability to communicate across broad audiences, as well as improve upon the ability to do drive time decision making and dissemination of this information across your organization.

The second C is around collaboration. How do we ensure that finance doesn't become sort of the gatherer of information that it's been in the past, but truly leverages all of those who are closest to information throughout your organization? Even outside of your organization to help drive better forecasting credibility and competence, as well as do what we like to refer to as integrated business planning. All of this will be exemplified through an ease of use user interface that's found within the planning and consolidation solution.

Then, finally, how do we increase our confidence in the forecast that's being built by our organization? One of the things that I'm really excited to share with you is, in addition to greater visualizations that exist within the SAP analytics suite, is the ability to leverage scientific forecasting, so taking tried and true predictive algorithms and
incorporating that into your process for building your plan, your budget, and your forecast.

With that in mind, we always like to start by saying, begin with the end in mind. What is the real end result? It's not necessarily getting to the point where we aggregate data. It's more so identifying what are the greatest expectations that are placed on finance professionals today both externally and internally?

Within my experience, as well as the experience of my colleagues, there are three things that we see actively today within the marketplace. It's the ability to provide accurate guidance on our future performance and the outlook both externally, as well as managing that confidence internally so that the team performs. In addition to that, you know how it goes when you're in finance. You're tasked with, "Don't just give us the plan, but over-deliver." How do we outperform those financial objectives and create
sustainable value within our organization?

Last but not least, as finance has transformed over the years, it's really a task of how do we deliver superior service at a reduced cost? Just like any other shared service organization, you'll find that finance is one of the first groups to receive a budget cut when times are tight. We have to be able to do more with less.

Last year, Gartner actually provided a study on what are the top priorities for finance professionals. Some of the things that they looked at are which components are being updated within their enterprise in the year 2012? You'll see, I'll just call off the top three here, performance management, forecasting and dashboards, planning, budgeting, and forecasting, and the ability to enhance or expedite the financial consolidation and reporting process with the top three things being addressed within 2012.

They also took an opportunity to get some foresight into, what do CFOs and financial professionals see as opportunities for 2013? You'll notice that the trend doesn't change too much. I do want to highlight that in addition to the planning, budgeting, and forecasting, and being able to visualize with the use of dashboards and scorecards around KPIs, they also want to be able to do both the customer and product profitability.

Editor's Note: If you're enjoying this business planning & consolidation webinar, you may also enjoy: Financial Close Technology Webinar, Corporate Finance Challenges Webinar, Career Coach Webinar, Rolling Forecast Webinar and/or our Managing Foreign Exchange Risk Webinar.

You'll notice as we kind of drift down towards the end there, greater than 20% also see the need to do things like predictive modeling and statistical analysis, which we'll get into with a bit more detail in just a moment.With that in mind, if we know what finance professionals want to do, how are we actually spending our time these days?

Well, you'll find that less than a quarter of finance's time is truly being spent on what's considered to be value-added initiatives and services. 47% spend their time simply collecting, aggregating, and validating data, which truly is not a value-add. It's simply a tactical step in the overall end goal. About 30% is spent around administering the process, so getting everyone up to speed on what steps need to be accomplished in order to wrap up the process.

Then, finally, about 23% is what's actually being contributed to providing value-added services. The goal here is to shift this dramatically so that more than half the time is focused on the value-added services in a very short period of time.

When we look at some of the organizations that SAP's value engineering team has had an opportunity to work with, and just a quick plug here, the value engineering team has the ability to collect and benchmark statistics across a series of industries, as well as a very vast customer base to identify some of the KPIs for your peers. Then rank you against your peers to determine where your greatest opportunities to enhance your overall services being provided are.

Three KPIs I found to be quite interesting are shown here on this particular graph. The first one, how much does it cost as a percent of our revenue to run at the finance organization, define that the average of 0.8% is actually pretty small compared to the worst, which is 1.2%. When we look at how long does it take to actually go through the process of close to report, about 14.8% fall in the average, with 22% showing up in the worst?

Then, the final one, DSO, one of those things in a very cash-strapped marketplace that everyone is looking at, we find that 52% are falling in the average, with 74% ending up in the worst. Once again, it's the ability to drive enhancements and improvements in some of these areas to truly be a greater service partner throughout your organization.

The final thing here, before we jump into the demo is, is finance really making progress to becoming a better partner in the business? When APQC did a poll in 2012, about 32% said that they're making some progress, with the rest kind of falling short.

One of the things that we want to do as a part of this discussion - and opening up a dialog with all of you who are on the call, as well as the greater finance community - is find out how can we leverage technology and some of these tried and true solutions that are being made available to you in order to improve some of these statistics that we see going in the wrong direction today?

As we begin to discuss how we can communicate to broader audiences, how about we jump into the demo at this point? One of the things that you may remember from a couple slides before was the ability to build dashboards and illustrate in a very quick, readable way, the KPIs that are germane to a particular organization.

A good friend of mine was able to put this dashboard together for me. You'll notice that it's actually being rendered in a PowerPoint slide. Now, one of the things that I find to be very intriguing with this is you can build out your dashboard using the SAP dashboard solution, and simply with a matter of one or two clicks, publish it to a dashboard. Anybody can do it. It's really meant for a business user, and not a techie to be able to take advantage of this solution.

You'll find as we begin to scroll across some of the tasks here, what we have done is really captured what's important to an organization from a KPI perspective. It's giving people the ability to get a quick read on how we're doing without putting a lot of Excel spreadsheets in front of them with numbers. When you give an image, it actually burns that sense of where we are as an organization into the minds of those who find this to be important.

One of the things that we've been able to do with one of our customers who leveraged the SAP planning and consolidation solution, and much as we're advocating in this Business Planning Consolidation Webinar, is their organization does an integrated business planning model. People from the sales organization and throughout the planning and production planning organization all work together to build up sort of a bottoms-up forecast.

When it's all said and done, when they want to give the first blush of their plan or their forecast to their CFO, they'll present it in the form of this dashboard. A CFO can see consolidated, what's the outlook for the organization. One of the other things, which I think is really cool, if we begin to take a look at what appears here to the left under growth forecast, let's say the CFO would like to call an audible.

We want the ability to actually change our growth forecast volume, say, by - I don't know - 2.5%, 3%. By doing that and selecting where that adjustment should be made, let's choose the back half of the year by simply clicking Q3 and Q4. You'll notice that it's immediately updated the overall outcome of my forecast. There's really no need to stop here.

Beyond just showing what the adjusted revenue would be and the impact that it would be on our margins, I could simply click the Save button here, which will take this aggregated value that's been put in as a scenario, and create a new scenario...

End partial: Business Planning & Consolidation Webinar

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